Cubs Prospects Kick Off the AFL, Future Phillies Spending, Managerial Changes, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Prospects Kick Off the AFL, Future Phillies Spending, Managerial Changes, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

If you’re into true crime/social history type podcasts, check out ‘In the Dark.’ There have been two seasons, both very good.

  • The Arizona Fall League gets underway today, and the Cubs will be heavily represented on the prospect side, with a whopping nine players going:

P Justin Steele

P Bailey Clark

P Erick Leal

P Manuel Rondon

SS Nico Hoerner

OF D.J. Wilson

UTL Trent Giambrone

C Jhonny Pereda

C P.J. Higgins

  • More on the Cubs’ contingent of prospects here and here, and it really is an unusually exciting group this season. Steele looked as good as anyone can returning from Tommy John, Leal was stellar in his return season after missing all of 2017, Clark has enormous upside, Hoerner looked like a ridiculously good draft pick before his elbow injury, Wilson has so much talent and just needs to stay healthy, Pereda broke out, Giambrone broke out, and Rondon and Higgins could each be future contributors, too.
  • Also: Steele, Rondon, Pereda, and Higgins are Rule 5 eligible this year, and Leal can be a minor league free agent. So there is additional evaluation going on for those five.
  • The Cubs season in quotes:

  • How about this one from Kris Bryant way back on April 6, about the Brewers and walk-off celebrations: “They seem like a fun group over there having a lot of fun. Sure, it can get a little annoying, but we do the same thing.” Ah, who knew then that Bryant was foretelling doom.
  • I was reading a Ken Rosenthal piece on teams that may have outsmarted themselves with their managerial moves because I wanted to have some lulz about the Cardinals decision, but what really caught my eye was the discussion of just how dramatically the Phillies faded in the second half. Obviously we knew it from following the standings, but they were apparently the first team in baseball history to finish under .500 after being 15 games over after 113 games. To be sure, they were a young club that wasn’t quite running at maximum capacity yet, but that kind of collapse by a major-market club with tons of money available and a young core? That’s going to drive them to spend big this offseason. Again, we already knew the Phillies would be major players in free agency, but I don’t think we should undersell how much they’ll be playing in the deep end, together with the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, and possibly Giants and Braves.
  • In a long bit of notes on a range of topics, Jon Heyman touches on GM and managerial searches throughout (there sure are a lot in baseball this year), and even includes this line on Dave Martinez and the Nationals: “GM Mike Rizzo said he anticipates Davey Martinez being brought back to manage. As was pointed out elsewhere, he said the same last year in regard to Dusty Baker before the owners pulled the plug.” It really wouldn’t have been shocking to see the Nationals move on from Martinez after only one year, given how disappointing they were, but it would be surprising now that the GM has already committed to him and other clubs are deep into their managerial searches. Suffice to say, though, that Martinez probably has only one more year to demonstrate effectiveness (however a manager in his situation does that), and, even after the probable loss of Bryce Harper (and Daniel Murphy and Gio Gonzalez), the Nationals will look good on paper when the 2019 season opens.
  • Swept out of the postseason by the Astros, the Indians have now worn the horrible Chief Wahoo logo for the last time. Although it can still be used on promotional materials for the team, it will no longer be on their uniform.
  • I am chuckling:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.